May 8th, 2013
“ In my first year at Scioto, I told the kids in my cabin that I knew how to do a back flip. At dinner one night, all the kids started chanting: ‘Here’s Jay and how he does a backflip. Come on Jay give us a show and show us how you do your back flip!’ When there’s a hundred middle schoolers chanting something, you have to do it. So I stood up on a table in the dining hall and did a back flip. Then Aaron Cook took me out back and told me that the only place to do a back flip at Scioto Hills is off the diving board.“ Recounts HeartSong tech Jay Bowser. These are the moments in camp that stick with us forever. We might not remember the cabin we stayed in or the food we ate, but we will always remember those crazy counselor moments that make camp what we look forward to at the end of every school year.
Camps like Scioto are different though. Jay puts it well when he says, “The way that Scioto is organized puts a huge emphasis on integrating God and faith into every single part of camp, not just by talking about it. That philosophy has really stuck with me in that there’s no reason to separate the two— life and God things. When you’re in a full time environment like that, the division starts to drift away in your mind.” God isn’t a big, scary giant, eager to snatch the fun out of the hands of His children. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. He is the bringer of joy and thus it is useless to segregate our great memories and our good God. God is the giver of all of our good gifts, all of our fun, all of our crazy camp stories, all of our backflips in the dining hall.
Scioto Hills director, Aaron Cook looks back on 4 summers of ministry with HeartSong. “Camps and conferences at Scioto Hills Christian Camp will never be the same as a result of the influence that HeartSong has had on them. At first glance I was struck by their musical quality, though the memories I have after many years of partnering go far beyond. When I think of HeartSong I think of authentic friendships and partners in Christ-honoring ministry. Every time a team leaves after an event, it feels like part of our staff leaves…and every time a new team arrives it seems like we just pick up where we left off. “ When we are choosing to live our lives with God as a part of everything we do, others take notice. Whether we are on stage, in the cabins, traveling in the vans or out to lunch after church, we pray our hearts and attitudes would shout Christ. As we prepare to embark on summer tour in just one short month, may we daily choose to infuse each choice, each encounter, each silly moment all with Christ, for the glory and honor of His kingdom.
April 29th, 2013
HeartSong is all about the people we get to minister to all summer long. From campers, to church members, to host homes, most of our ministry is about people. What an incredible opportunity we have to daily do life alongside the body of Christ as we travel throughout June, July and August. Often it is in these little moments—a dinner break at camp, watching a movie in the host home, playing games in youth group—that we, as teams, learn the most.
One of our teams will be partnering with Lift Ministries this summer, for the 6th year in a row. Lift Ministries travels across the country visiting college campuses and hosting week-long camps for thousands of high-school students.
HeartSong leading worship at a Thursday night session for Lift.
For Spencer, one of HeartSong’s drummers, this will be his 3rd year traveling on HeartSong with Lift: “Lift has had a major impact on my life. One area that I have really grown in because of Lift is my ability to interact, relate to, and minister to kids. Lift has taught me how to use my abilities and my gifts to reach out to kids and connect with them. I’m excited for this upcoming summer.” HeartSong, as a ministry, exists to live the reality of the gospel to everyone we meet all summer long. However, it isn’t uncommon that we become the ones whose lives are changed through what we encounter in churches and camps across the country.
Our Lift Camp team members will see hundreds of kids from Texas all the way up to Pennsylvania. Their opportunity for impact is great, as it is for each of our teams this summer, but their willingness to be changed themselves is even greater. As Spencer uses his drum skills to connect with kids, so other team members will use the skills they’ve honed in guitar or humor or soccer to meet kids right where they’re at this summer.
April 20th, 2013
What does genuine worship look like? This is a question we are constantly
bombarded with as worship leaders and as Christians in general. Does genuine
worship mean raising your hands and closing your eyes? Does it mean not singing
unless the words really mean something to you? Does it mean an entire camp of kids
rushing the stage in an epic altar call? HeartSong team member, Sam DeLoye, shares
his thoughts on genuine worship:
“On Wednesday evening, for example, we were playing “Less,” and all of the campers
were sitting down. Once we got to the chorus, a camper in the front row jumped
up and lifted her hand in worship. I was nearly brought to tears by her worshipful
Moments of genuine worship are often marked by an overflow of our souls. Often
our souls have spent so much time rejoicing over Him, that we can’t help but sing.
Other times, when our soul has been wretched by the pain and heartache of this
world, we have only soft cries or solemn silence left. Both of these are acts of
genuine worship. Both of these responses point back to a God who is bigger than us,
bigger than our earthly troubles. Our hearts are known by Him, the One who has
great plans for us, the One in control. How could we choose anything but worship?
Sam, along with other members of Heartsong Red, spent two weeks last summer at
Skyview Ranch and are excited to return in the summer of 2013, where moments
like this will surely not be few and far between. Skyview director Jeremy Hales
looks forward to the summer with them: “Heart Song provides authentic worship
that leads the Christian to the Throne of Grace! Skyview Ranch Campers continue
to share that they feel like it’s just them and God as they worship during our chapel
times. That’s an astounding thing when hundreds of voices are lifted up to the
audience of ONE – Our One True God and Savior! You can’t help but truly see their
HEART in their SONG!”